It seems that hardly any time goes by without yet another story of an animal in the wild being attacked by poachers.
Cecil the Lion was killed by dentist Walter Palmer, yet Zimbabwe lifted their hunting ban.
A Grizzly Bear was mercilessly shot by two hunters, who stood laughing while the bear died, and now an elephant has been shot with a poison arrow.
Thankfully, for every horrific human in the world, there is one who goes out of their way to protect animals and conserve what little wildlife we have left, and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) is filled with those.
That’s why when said wild elephant and two of his friends were attacked and wounded, they trekked through the African wild, and went to the DSWT for help.
Amazingly, while the injured elephant had never been to the DSWT before, he had mated with two orphans who were raised at DSWT’s Ithumba Reintergration Centre, and fathered babies with them back in 2011.
DSWT are sure this connection meant the elephant knew he could go to a safe place and be treated – and firmly believe that while elephants seeking humans out for help is hard to believe, it is entirely possible.
That’s because of their spatial reasoning abilities and intelligence – and the DSWT think the amount of elephants turning up at their safe haven is down to others who have been there and received help communicating this.
The DSWT claimed:
We are sure that Mwende’s father knew that if they returned to the stockades they would get the help and treatment they needed because this continuously happens with the injured bulls in the north; they all come to Ithumba when in need, understanding that there they can be helped.
Thankfully, after a lengthy operation that lasted several hours, the veterinary team at the centre managed to sedate and treat the elephants, cleaning their wounds and filling them with clay, along with antibiotics.
The rescuers reassured people about the elephants, and said their ‘wounds had healed beautifully, and they have all made a full recovery’.
You can donate to the DSWT here.